The Cedarville Review 2024

THE CEDARVILLE REVIEW 19 Contributor's Note: “Wh en/ere I Saw” explores childhood imagination. While the fairies, mermaids, and wind spirits in my piece are fi ctional, the experiences are real; as a kid, I had believed I actually saw these magical creatures throughout my life—and there were many others. Writers can play with the boundaries of creative nonfi ction, and this piece seeks to show one way to do this. Wh en/ere I Saw Emily L. Vest 37° 39' 56.48" N, 80° 59' 56.39" W I heard a fairy in the mountains of Jumping Branch. Wandering from the American Chestnut shelter in the fi eld where Grandpa fed the bonfi re and Grandma fed my baby sister, pushing past branches of poplar and hickory and maple and gum tree leaves, delving deeper into the brush that pricked at my skin, I left— because I heard it. I know I did. A tinkling of bells. A whisper. A spot of light caught at my eyes, shining on my irises, pulling my gaze until I saw a sprite’s silhouette through a green-veined oak leaf, hovering. The breeze slowed, the shadow lowered onto a tallow, and I